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Development Procedures > Milestone Definitions - Pg. 188

The Publishing Contract Notice is very important for follow-on developments.Timing cash flowand resource com- mitment is everything to a developer, so you will wantto do everything you can to avoid a situation where you need work tobegin as soon as possible on a sequel when you have just committed ateam to another project.The best way to work this out is to agree on anotice "deadline," perhaps 90 days following the initial commercialrelease of the game, during which the publisher can interpret the salesdata and decide if it wants to do a sequel. Another option is for the publisher to give you a heads-up period (90 days, for example) that wouldenable you to organize resources for the project. Do beware: many publishers are nervous about the reliability and functionality of rapidlystaffed teams and may shy away from the latter scenario. 188 Development Procedures The contract should specify not just what you will be delivering (milestones), but how you will be delivering it, how it will be accepted, what changes to the milestones are acceptable, and what happens when milestones are late. Will the publisher be delivering any development kits? At whose expense (usually the publisher's) and when? (Tardy development kits can lead to missed mile- stones.) The first milestone should be signing the short form contract, and the last is usually delivery of the gold master. As for pricing the contract, you will want to factor in as wide a margin of error as possible and to isolate as many unpredictable costs (cost of third-party licenses, name actors or vocal talent required by the publisher or over which the publisher has approval, and any other costs over which you have no control) by stating that the milestone advance amounts will be $X--plus the cost of those items to be jointly approved, or that the publisher will cover those costs for all publisher-mandated content. Remember when drafting the milestone schedule: publishers who need to deliver products in very particular retail or quarterly income windows prize a developer with a reputation for being on time.